Statistics show that locals depend more and more on hi-tech

Text messaging, cell phones, cable television subscribers steadily increase

Ever wonder how many people in American Samoa are subscribers of text messaging service? And with the increased use of cell phones, has that resulted in a drop of landline telephone services?

The American Samoa Statistical Yearbook 2016, which was publicly released earlier this month, has the answers — and some. The Communication and Transportation section of the yearbook provides interesting information, with the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority and Bluesky Communications being cited as sources for the data.

According to the information, there were 28,054 text messaging subscribers in 2016, a huge increase of 6.2% (or 26,415 subscribers) from 2015.

The report further notes that there were 31,746 text messaging subscribers in 2014; 25,996 in 2013; and 19,735 in 2012. There is no data for 2006 to 2011.

According to the report, there was a significant drop in landline telephone subscribers between 2006 and 2016, but the number of cellular phone subscribers increased and fluctuated during the same period.

For example, in 2006 landline subscribers was at 10,737, then dropped to 8,031 in 2015 and further dropped to 7,818 in 2016. (ASTCA is the landline provider.)

For cell phone subscribers, there were 8,525 in 2006, then it peaked to 45,488 in 2013; however, there was a decline in 2014 with 33,053.

In 2015 the number stood at 28,406 and in 2016 it reached 28,455. Samoa News notes that both ASTCA and Bluesky are cell phone providers.

Other interesting cell phone data reveals that the total number of phone cards purchased and e-charges spiked between 2012 and 2016. There is no data before 2012.

In 2012, the number of phone cards purchased was a mere 175,663

But by 2016 it had ballooned to 1.18 million.

E-charge also increased notably, climbing from 949,593 in 2012 to 2.41 million in 2016.

With the world depending on the internet, American Samoa has jumped on the bandwagon, with internet subscribers numbering 3,194 in 2015 and increasing to 4,515 by 2016. For more comparison — there were only 1,973 internet subscribers in 2006. (Samoa News notes that both ASTCA and Bluesky are internet service providers).

On the other hand, the number of fax service subscribers has declined, from 686 in 2006 down to 518 in 2016.

According to the yearbook, there were 3,072 cable service subscribers — Moana TV/Bluesky — in 2016 — which is a slight increase of 3% — or 2,979 - from 2015.


Transportation service includes vehicle registrations and driver licenses, vessel and cargo movements, and air traffic and aircraft operations.

•     Number of registered vehicles recorded by the Office of Motor Vehicles in 2016 was 8,373 — a drop of 13% compared to the previous year. Commercial and private vehicles make up the majority of the vehicles in the Territory. ASG vehicles accounted for 700-plus vehicles in the Territory.

•     Number of driver’s licenses and permits issued in 2016 dropped to 6,402 from 7,391 in 2015. Both private licenses and commercial permits contributed to the drop.

•     Vessel movement and cargo movement within the territory in 2016 indicates significant decrease from the previous year.

•     4,020 flights landed at Pago Pago International Airport in 2016 compared to 3,686 in 2015. Incoming flights carried 66,480 passengers and the same number of flights took off with 68,628 passengers.

•     About 2.7 million pounds of cargo and 1.6 million pounds of mail were brought in by commercial carriers. Outgoing cargo and mail were reported at 1.5 million and less than 500,000 respectively.

•     In 2016, there were 174 flights between Pago Pago and Honolulu. This is an average of 15 flights per month. There were 3,518 flights between Pago Pago and Samoa (an average of 293 flights per month).

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